Preview: Outboard Powerboat Handling, Part 4 – Tilt and Trim

*     *     * is a membership website with over 1,000 videos and articles on boat handling, repairs, maintenance, boat building, dream boats and more.

Sign up above to learn more, and get 10 of our best videos.

*     *     *

When it comes to speed and fuel economy – outboard tilt and trim may give you a boost.

Get Free Videos Start Free Trial Members Sign In

Comments, Thoughts or Suggestions?

You can leave a comment or question for OCH and members below. Here are the comments so far…

Leave a Comment

11 Responses So Far to “Outboard Powerboat Handling, Part 4 – Tilt and Trim

  • Avatar

    Winston Shaw says:

    At age 76 I’ve owned more boats than cars and lots of them have been outboard powered. For years I used 2 stroke Mariners and Mercurys and both served me well. I generally trade in my outboards when they hit around 4,000 hours and when I made my last engine swap I replaced my 90 hp Mercury 2-stroke with a 70 hp Yamaha 4-stroke. Wow! What a difference! Starts every time with the flick of the key, uses less than half the fuel, runs so quiet you have to look at the tach to be sure it’s running and, best of all, the switch from carbs to EFI means no more oily drool all over the inside face of the transom when you tip the engine up at day’s end. About the only negative I’ve found is the 100 hour oil changes. I do 3-4 of them a year and until I learned the tricks removing the oil filter created an unholy mess! Like another poster I am a long time Doel Fin user as it reduces prop venting and cuts porpoising. As far as engine trimming goes I balance my Tach’s RPM reading with GPS speed and trim accordingly. This both improves handling and fuel economy at the same time.

  • Avatar

    Bill Perkins says:

    Ben has sold me on the value of a speed knob .My hydraulic steering requires allot of spinning when maneuvering ,but does allow going hands free for brief periods. .

    • Avatar

      Winston Shaw says:

      We used to call them suicide knobs when you used them on our cars in the 1960s but I’d rename them survival knobs when used for docking boats! I am also a huge fan on the Teleflex NFB helms available today. NFB stands for No Feed Back but what it actually leads to his rock solid stay on course performance. Far as I can figure the system depends upon a friction clutch sort of mechanism that counters engine torque. Thus when you take your hands off the wheel the boat stays steady on course rather than wandering in response to engine torque. Best thing since sliced bread!

  • Avatar

    Paul Briggs says:

    That was like a commercial for Yamaha Outboards, Albury Runabouts, and Ben Mendlowitz videos, all of which I endorse.

  • Avatar

    Robert Knight says:

    Hey–I’ve been trying to figure this out ever since we got an outboard. Everybody says, “Oh, you’ll know when it’s correct”. BS. Much better to understand the theory and get a better sense of things by seeing what happens to the boat from outside it. Nice work Ben!

  • Avatar

    Jon Elcock says:

    Good video, I would have liked to see the driver keep his hand on the wheel a bit more, safety safety.

    • Avatar

      Captain Nemo says:

      Point taken Jon, but I would also – for the sake of presenting a good example – have worn a PFD, especially when alone in the vessel. I grew up in the Sixties, boating on the Great South Bay on Long Island, and NO ONE ever wore a life preserver, (as we called them back then)! I only got into the habit about 20 years ago, as a member of the underwater recovery unit I now serve on. We always wear PFD’s whenever we’re within 10-feet of the water, both for safety sake as well as presenting a professional image to the public. (I was once throw out of the boat while operating alone, and boy was I glad I was wearing my life jacket! I now ALWAYS connect the Kill Switch to my jacket when running solo, even though its a pain to move around if I need to).

      But I have to say I think Mr Mendlowitz’ videos are fantastic, easy to understand, cover great topics and ought to be seen by all boaters – especially those just starting out. Even after more than 50 years on the water, I’ve learned a few things from him.

      Wonderful work.
      Greg Mactye

      • Avatar

        Ben Mendlowitz says:

        Hi Jon and Greg, Sorry I missed Jon’s comment when it first came in. One of the strong points of the Albury is its ability to hold a course due to a full length keel, she tracks as if on rails so I suppose I am a bit casual about keeping my hands on the wheel. I also often photograph from her when alone so I am very comfortable letting her follow a course for a few moments while I take a shot and quickly turn my attention back to where I am heading. At times when I borrow a smaller boat that doesn’t have the Albury’s hull shape or even worse does not have hydraulic steering, I am quickly brought back to the need to keep a hand on the wheel. PFD’s definitely add a margin of safety in the event of the worse happening and their use should be encouraged. Best, Ben

  • Avatar

    Capt. Peter Reich says:

    Ben used the term cavitation incorrectly as the majority of boaters do. It is actually Ventilation when a prop sucks air, either from surface or thru hub exhaust. Cavitation occurs when the pressure on the front sole of blade drops so much that the water actually boils! We all remember from school that water boils at sea level (14.7 psi), water boils at 212 degrees F. Drop the pressure to 0.5 psi as can happen on front side of blade, especially on wrong size for that application and in warm water, and the water will boil at only 80 degrees F! Those bubbles then collapse and can cause what is known as cavitation burn which can eat up an aluminum prop pretty fast.

    I think the main reason people use these terms incorrectly is that outboard manufacturers all call that horizontal plate above the prop the “anti-cavitation plate” when it’s purpose is to actually prevent ventilation of the prop. Same goes for some of the manufacturers of the plastic fins that bolt onto “that” plate.

    I am a firm believer in using those fins. I have a set of Doel Fins on 21′ HBI rigid bottom inflatable with a 140 and on my 15′ Boston Whaler with a 60 with a tiller setup on the engine. Having the Doel Fins allow me to be able to trim up much higher without ventilating. When trimmed up and crossing a wake, they keep water on the prop when it would have otherwise sucked air. On the Whaler, the trim switch is controlled by your thumb on the tiller. I tend to adjust the trim as much as throttle as it allows me to adjust for wave size and direction and crossing wanes without pounding (or ventilating).

  • David Tew

    David Tew says:

    If I had an outboard motor boat an Albury would be the one I’d want, yessir.


Get Immediate Access, Plus
10 More of Our Best Videos

Your email is safe with us.
We'll NEVER share it, and we DON'T spam.

or …

Start Free Trial

Get Instant Access as a Member to the Entire Site

  • Access all 1000 videos/articles
  • No risk! Cancel anytime
  • Get a nice discount if you join